The ultra precision machining laboratory at Cranfield University houses a range of Cranfield own developed ultra precision diamond turning machines and those from leading suppliers. Read more Read less

The laboratory is the UK’s national facility for large x-ray optics manufacture being highly temperature controlled with a capacity to process optics of up to 1.5 metres in diameter. It is equipped with surface roughness and form measurement instruments.

The Precision Engineering Institute at Cranfield University is an established supplier of optics and systems to ESO, ESA, NASA, The National Physical Laboratory and industrial programmes. Delivered products are measured using fully traceable metrology systems.

Summary of applications

The UK’s leading specification laboratory for supply space grade (flight approved) diamond turned optics.

Large Diamond Turning Machine

A large diamond turning machine capable of diamond turning work pieces up to 1.4 metres in diameter by 0.6 metres high, with high quality surface finishes. Typical components include spherical, parabolic and hyperbolic mirror substrates.

Talysurf CCI

The TalySurf CCI is an advanced 3-dimensional non-contact optical metrology tool used for advanced surface characterisation. This instrument has the ability to offer a true topographical representation of a surface with 0.01 nm Z resolution over a full scan range plus a 0.4 µm lateral resolution, with over 1,000,000 data points.

Taylor Hobson’s patented coherence correlation interferometry (CCI) technology provides ultra high resolution interferometic measurements for non-contact surface roughness, step-heights, form, shape, angular and critical dimension results.

Coherence correlation interferometry (CCI) is a multi-functional and flexible 3D metrology technology that can be adapted to measure and characterise a wide range of surface types. Polished, ground, etched, transparent, rough, shiny and multi-dimensional surface types can all be measured and characterised. Accurate surface characterisation can proved critical information that can be related to aspects of a manufacturing process. Understanding and monitoring these processes allows research and production to maintain component quality, yields and operational performances.

Using the facility

Produced numerous optics and devices for:

  • ESA
  • RAL
  • NASA
  • UK ATC
  • Pilkington
  • AWE
  • Qioptic
  • Thales
  • ESO
  • Zeiss
  • G&H
  • Optic
  • Astrium
  • Boostec
  • SSTL